Method

Five steps for a successful mobile app design

November 21, 2019

With 5.1 billion mobile phone users worldwide, we have certainly entered the mobile era. Smartphones and tablets are omnipresent and with 2.46 million apps for Android and almost 2 million on the App store, competition is fierce and brands have to rechallenge themselves. So, you want your app to be a success? Let’s walk through the five things you must consider when creating one.

1. User research gets you to ask yourself the right questions

One of the main (but rather common) mistakes is that users are usually not being consulted in the early stages. You must ask yourself the following questions: What need is the app fulfilling for the user ? What is the competitive value of your service?

To answer these questions, it is crucial to put users at the core of the overall process. Meetings, field surveys, and individual interviews help to highlight their actual needs. Also, user testing allows you to observe the different uses of mobile applications. The aim is to turn the pain points into opportunities.

People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it.Simon SinekAuthor, Start with Why

2. Conduct a precise audit

To embark in the right direction, to properly position your application and make it unique regarding competition, it is necessary to:

  • carry out a diagnosis of your current situation (UX and technical audit), especially when redesigning.
  • study what the competition has to offer, both in terms of content and style.

3. Define the framework of the application

Writing the functional specifications will allow us to focus on the elements of the application and define its outlines. And based on user research, it is easier to prioritize the functionalities that need to be integrated. At this stage, it is not uncommon to set up a design sprint on a specific point, in order to materialize the concept very quickly and to test it with users in less than a week. During the design sprint, iteration is key.

4. Which format to choose: web or native?

The choice of the format - native, hybrid or responsive, must be made based on the needs, characteristics, and challenges of the application.

  • Native applications provide the latest innovations from Google (Android), Apple (iOS) and optimized user experience. But it requires two separate software developments, which of course, will impact the budget.
  • Hybrid frameworks allow a single development that can be common to both operating systems. That reduces costs, but it is at the expense of a few ergonomic compromises.
  • Responsive websites feature content that is suitable for all devices.

Idean has strong expertise in developing secure apps since we work closely with many actors from the financial sector. The security of an app is about the exchanges between data and servers, their storage on the smartphone, and the source code. It is then necessary to ensure a high level of security during the development of these applications, via strict procedures throughout the chain.

5. Progressive implementation: a safe bet

The simpler the application, the easier it will be to use. It is, therefore, more relevant to focus on the most used functionalities by the target users. The first version can be tested very quickly on the market, then gradually improved with additional functionalities, following the feedback from the beta testers.

Always put user experience first, because an app is not just technology Mastering the entire chain (UX and tech) is a strength. This advantage makes it possible to design and launch a product that consumers will (really) enjoy using. The key to success? A perfect balance between design and technology.

Conclusion

The added value of designers is not solely about creating beautiful applications that people will use, but also about changing the mindset of stakeholders. Modeling, iterating, making mistakes, re-proposing, while taking into account user feedback, is the best way to limit the risks.

We often hear that carrying out a user-centric design method costs a lot, money and time-wise. But how much would a badly conceived app that no one uses cost when it still needs to be maintained, yet, without filling out its objective…

Contact us to learn more about our app development capabilities and our most recent apps!